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King_Chief_Fan
04-20-2006, 07:05 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/s...fs/14382564.htm (http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/s...fs/14382564.htm)

What are your thoughts after reading this article about Cruz replacing Richardson?

jspchief
04-20-2006, 07:10 AM
My thoughts are that it's a bad link.

King_Chief_Fan
04-20-2006, 07:14 AM
My thoughts are that it's a bad link.

how about this? sorry about the link

Replacing Richardson

Cruz is new kid on block

Chiefs will count on fullback to open holes
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star


What Ronnie Cruz has to show for his NFL career is one pass reception, some special-teams work and a lot of bench time.

That wouldn’t seem to be the résumé of someone hoping to replace Tony Richardson as the starting fullback on one of the NFL’s best offensive teams. In the back of his mind, Cruz, like most fans, might have believed the Chiefs would sign a veteran to take the job.

Days passed, then weeks. Now it’s been a month since Richardson, the Chiefs’ longtime fullback, moved on to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Chiefs have done nothing to replace Richardson, making it apparent they believe Cruz can be their guy. They aren’t alone.

“The situation is definitely in my hands,” Cruz said. “Now I’ve just got to take advantage of it. I’ve had two years to learn behind Tony Richardson, so I’m ready. I’ve got the knowledge, the work ethic. I feel it’s my time to shine. It brings me confidence to know they want to see me be the number one guy, but it’s up to me to make that happen.”

The Chiefs are showing a lot of faith in Cruz, someone they found in a rookie tryout camp two years ago.

Cruz was an accomplished halfback in college at tiny Northern State in South Dakota, but that’s a long way from being the next Tony Richardson. But he showed enough to win a contract and stick on the practice squad for half a season.

He won the job as Richardson’s backup last year but rarely played on offense. Cruz still distinguished himself in his limited playing time.

“You can always tell from my standpoint, when you look in guys’ eyes and you’re calling out the plays, do they look http://www.chiefscoalition.com/Forums/style_emoticons/default/confused.gif?” quarterback Trent Green said. “Do they get that kind of deer-in-the-headlights look? He’s never had that. He’s always felt really comfortable and really confident. What that tells me is that he’s preparing properly.”

On the surface, it might seem Richardson is easily replaceable. He was in for only about 30 percent of the plays last year.

“But they were important ones,” running backs coach James Saxon said.

Richardson was the blocking back in short-yardage and goal-line situations and a major reason the Chiefs scored 26 rushing touchdowns and Larry Johnson had his phenomenal second half.

The Chiefs might try to cover Richardson’s loss in part by more often using H-back Kris Wilson, tight end Jason Dunn or a third wide receiver. The fullback still figures in the plans, given the way new coach Herm Edwards wants to run.

As it is, Cruz is about the Chiefs’ only option. They have former Kansas State fullback Travis Wilson, but that’s it.

The Chiefs could draft a fullback next weekend, but it’s a stretch to think a rookie could learn the intricacies of the offense fast enough to win a starting spot.

After the season-ending injury to Priest Holmes, Richardson was the only pass-protecting back the Chiefs trusted. Cruz will probably draw that duty, too.

“I don’t have any reservations about him as a pass protector,” Saxon said. “He will fight you. He’s as tough as anybody on our football team.

“He won’t surprise me. He will do what we need the guy in that position to do. He’s got everything you would look for if you were going to draft a player or bring somebody in.”

The Chiefs and Cruz are encouraged by the progress he has made in two years.

“I was a running back my whole life, so I had to learn how to run-block,” Cruz said. “You can’t just run at guys and expect to blow them up every time. Everybody is athletic and strong and fast. You’ve got to know how to do it.

“My teammates, I believe, have my back as far as me coming in and being the number one guy here because they know I come to work every day trying to get this job. It’s on my shoulders now. I go into every day wanting to learn something new and become a better player in any category possible.”

jspchief
04-20-2006, 07:20 AM
I don't remember him much as a pass blocker, but I remember him being a pretty crappy run blocker.

I have a feeling we're not going to see a "go for it on 4th and goal to win instead of tie against the Raiders" play this year. The offense is going to suffer in short situations, where T-Rich was always a key piece.

However, Cruz is a lot faster than T-Rich, and I suspect that plays to the FB will be a little more explosive this year.

StcChief
04-20-2006, 07:37 AM
I hope it works out for him....tough shoes to fill replacing T-RICH. A few blown plays 4th and short and lookout.

Baby Lee
04-20-2006, 07:47 AM
I haven't had a bad a feeling about a personnel loss since Lowery.

Of course, not counting DT. I'm talking decisions to let someone go.

Lzen
04-20-2006, 07:57 AM
Eh, Tony Richardson came in as a young unheralded player trying to replace Kimble Anders. That turned out alright. Not saying Cruz will or will not be able to replace Richardson. Just saying I'm not really worried.....yet. Once I see how he does in the preseason, I'll have a better outlook.

dtrain
04-20-2006, 08:18 AM
Draft Vickers out of Colorado!

Rain Man
04-20-2006, 08:38 AM
I personally think that Jason Dunn will replace Richardson.

BigChiefFan
04-20-2006, 09:28 AM
I'm hopeful Cruz can turn into a great FB, but from what I've seen, he has along way to go. I was surprised he even made the team.

chiefy
04-20-2006, 09:33 AM
What ever happend to Robert Holcombe? cut?

ChiefsOne
04-20-2006, 09:35 AM
T-Rich was a solid player, but will be missed more as a teammate.

Dunit35
04-20-2006, 09:39 AM
What ever happend to Robert Holcombe? cut?


Injury settlement I think. I wonder why they haven't talked to him about coming back.

Phobia
04-20-2006, 09:43 AM
What ever happend to Robert Holcombe? cut?

Injury settlement last year, IIRC.